A group of village residents who don't want apartments for senior citizens built on the site of what was once Davis Paints in downtown Canal Winchester have appealed the planning commission's Oct. 11 decision to allow several variances for the project.

A group of village residents who don't want apartments for senior citizens built on the site of what was once Davis Paints in downtown Canal Winchester have appealed the planning commission's Oct. 11 decision to allow several variances for the project.

As a result, Canal Winchester Village Council will hold a public hearing on the matter at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6.

Plans by NRP Group of Cleveland and Wagenbrenner Development of Columbus call for construction of a three-story, 46-unit apartment building. The approved variances allow a parking area less than 15 feet from the right of way; allow a structure to be built within the front and side yard setbacks and allow a structure greater than 40 feet in height.Canal Winchester resident Cindi Lynch, who lives in the village's Historic District, said 120 residents and business owners signed a petition opposing the project because they believe the variances did not go through the correct process.

Letters were also sent to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, and state Rep. Kevin Bacon and incoming Rep. Anne Gonzalez. Finance director Nanisa Osborn confirmed the village did receive an appeal of the planning commission's decision on variances from Michael Stobart and John and Kim Stedman.

Once a notice of appeal is received, Osborn said, council has 60 days to schedule a hearing and reach a decision.

Residents have formed a Facebook group called "CW Residents for Responsible Growth." A meeting was held earlier this month with 52 residents who do not support the senior housing project, Lynch said in an email. Many members of the group plan to attend the Dec. 6 hearing, she said.

"Our group has worked over the past few weeks stop the project," Lynch said. "We pulled together 52 residents within three days for an open meeting at Shade on the Canal Restaurant."

Members of Residents for Responsible Growth say their objections to the project are not just based on variances for parking, location and building height. They believe Canal Winchester has more than enough housing for senior citizens.

According to a senior citizen housing list from the Franklin County Office on Aging, the senior housing options are available in Canal Winchester at Canal Village, 85 Covenant Way, for residents ages 62 and older; David's Way, 73 Covenant Way, for residents ages 62 and older; Stratford East Apartments, 3401 Quinlan Blvd., for ages 62 and older; and Waterford Place Housing, on Shannon Court, for ages 55 and older with income restrictions of $28,000 maximum for one person and $32,940 for two people

In their appeal of the planning commission's decision, residents claim the project goes against preservation guidelines that say new building heights must be compatible with existing adjacent buildings and new buildings should have the same number of floors and be within 10 percent of the average height of adjacent buildings as viewed from the street.

"While the general restriction on height is 40 feet for general commercial properties, the fact that the building is located within the Historic District requires that due consideration of the height of the adjacent buildings be given in the decision to approve the variance," the petition said.

Village zoning officer Andrew Dutton said both the Canal Winchester Planning Commission and the Landmarks Commission must review the plans. The planning commission reviews variances and site development plan requests, per the zoning code, he said.

"These are variances from the zoning code and do not address the preservation guidelines in any way," he said.

The planning commission tabled action on the site development plan at the applicant's request.

The application must also receive a certificate of appropriateness from the Landmarks Commission, which will review the application, Dutton said.

"The proposed development has not yet been reviewed by the Landmarks Commission per the preservation guidelines, though a review will be required prior to submission of building plans," he said.